‘There was nothing in our bank account. I didn’t have a backup plan.’ Cut from his team, a football player tackles a new field

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In his early 20s, Tyler Horn came close to playing in the NFL. In three years, he played in preseason and practice squads for three teams, but never made it to a regular-season football game.

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“There was this urge to make it to the league,” Horn recalls. “It was upsetting and depressing.”

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But Horn refused to stew in self-pity. Instead, he devised a plan to resume his career as a financial planner. In the summer of 2014, Horn attended training camp for the Tennessee Titans. Having been cut from the previous two teams, the self-described “traveller offensive lineman” knew the drill: Teams start with 90 players and must round up the roster to 53 on day one.

“It’s a week-to-week contract when you’re on the practice team,” Horne said. “Every Tuesday at 4:01 PM, I knew I’d get a paycheck that week if I didn’t get the call [to be cut] Until then. Boom, I’ll go to Outback Steakhouse and get a good meal. ,

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But in August 2014, he got that call. “The general manager wants to see you,” he was told. “Bring your playbook.”

As a laid-off employee asked to turn on his employee ID badge, Horn was unemployed. He was 25 years old. “I had tears in my eyes,” he recalled. “There was nothing in our bank account. I didn’t have a backup plan. I was driving home—six hours from Tennessee to Avon, Indiana—thinking, ‘What am I going to do?'”

He called his wife from the street and assured her that he would figure out what to do next. And he did. “After about two hours, driving north on I-65 in Kentucky, I made a plan,” he said. “I thought, ‘I need to earn this level of income. I’ll be teaching substitute. I’ll mow the grass. That’s all I need to do. If a team doesn’t call by Thanksgiving, I’ll move on.'”

Didn’t call any team.

An old friend suggested that Horn join Merrill Lynch as a budding financial planner. So in early 2015, Horn entered the company’s training program and spent more than four years learning the ropes and earning the Certified Financial Planner credential.

Today, Horn, 32, is senior director of financial planning at Facet Wealth, a Baltimore-based financial services firm. In addition to advising approximately 30 clients, he serves as an in-house coach to other planners.

When clients go through hardship—from career derailments to loss of dreams to poor personal choices—Horn shares her experience battling despair. He knows what it’s like to chase a cherished goal for no profit.

“We tell customers to be vulnerable so that I understand what they want to achieve,” he said. “The only way for me to do that is for me to offer that level of vulnerability. It builds trust.”

To help clients stay afloat amidst setbacks, Horn stresses the need to devise a plan. Initiating action immediately, even if it is only a step toward a solution, can build momentum in itself.

For example, he cites a customer who was excited to buy the first home. But during escrow, the lender found that the customer had defaulted on lease payments six years earlier.

“Clients were worried they couldn’t get a mortgage,” Horn recalled. “So I sent them a letter explaining what had happened, that it was a one-time accident. That way, the underwriter could keep the letter on file and cover his butt.” The loan was approved.

His football training made him appreciate the value of the plan not only financially but also in other ways.

“I was fortunate to have the experience of a lifetime in a span of three years,” he said. “The joys of getting the call – ‘You’re on the team’ – with being cut off from the team. So I can empathize with the ups and downs of customers.”

His biggest takeaway: When mired in despair, shift to problem solving. Adopt a strategic mindset and ask yourself, OK, what do I do now? “You have to plan and work,” he said. “From there, you can start making real progress.”

as well ‘I promised myself that I would never be the one who was broken again.’ This financial advisor’s family inherited $1.4 million and quickly lost everything.

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